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CK Dance UPDATE: 39th Strickland Results, NDEO Honorable Mentions

The CK Dancers have much to be proud of this year.
Their determination to hone and express their talents through not only dance, but through choreography as well, has provided them with exceptional opportunities for recognition.

One of these opportunities came in the form of the 39th Strickland Choreography Competition, which took place on Tuesday, April 16th in the Wenger Gymnasium. Featuring original works from Cranbrook Dance students, the Strickland Choreography Competition allows students to perform their pieces before an audience and three judges. Each competition is concluded by the judges’ nomination of a finalist and semi-finalist, the selection of which is dependent on the merit of the artist’s individualism and creativity, the development of the thematic materials presented through the performance, and the overall clarity and intent of the dance itself.

Judging comes from three professionals of dance, such as professional dance company directors or instructors of dance at the university level. This year’s competition was judged by CK alumna will be judged by Laine Chan, Cranbrook Schools alumna (’14) and former Strickland winner who has gone on to graduate from the University of Michigan with an education in engineering, although she is still an avid dancer.

Out of eleven submitted dances, this year’s competition winner was junior Luke Koski, who took first place for his powerful solo dance “You Shine.” The piece featured themes of acceptance and self-love and was described as both passionate and expressive, prompting one of the adjudicators to remark that “watching it made me feel something human inside.” Semi-finalist accolades were awarded to juniors Kali Hightower and Lauren Roebuck for their duet “Monster in My Head,” which featured a blend of complex partnered choreography and isolated movements.

In addition to her position as a semi-finalist in the Strickland competition, Hightower has been recognized by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) for her artistic abilities, academic accomplishments, and leadership skills. One of only eight honorable mentions nation-wide, Hightower has been awarded the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award. This award also comes with an invitiation for her to participate in dance workshops and perform at the NDEO national conference in Miami, Florida this coming October.

Many congratulations to these students for these accomplishments, and best of luck on all of their future endeavors!
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    • Competition winner Luke Koski

    • Semi-finalists Kali Hightower and Lauren Roebuck

    • CK alumna Laine Chan

    • Congrats to all of the 2019 Strickland dancers!

    • Honorable Mention Winner Kali Hightower